Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 19th 2014 Contents A53
October 19, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
"Synchronicity" tells of related
events happening all at once, par-
ticipants seeing them as mean-
ingful coincidences. In business,
travel, health, even with present
Ebola crisis, that might be so.
In cricket, it seldom happens and
has not, for this West Indies versus
India 2014 series.
That India shellacked WI in the
second and fourth One Day Inter-
nationals (ODI), after No 3 was
abandoned, was no coincidence,
even after WI miraculously curbed
India s vaunted batting in ODI No
1. WI put up a formidable public
front after that first game, it was
easily discernible, from team body
language, that something was seri-
ously wrong in WI s camp.
All have now come to full fruition
or as known in the Caribbean: "The
bubble has now burst, so the s....
has hit the fan!"
WI s entire team turning up at
start of proceedings for ODI No 4
gave clues of immediate things to
come, its fielding in India s innings
of No 4 as fetid as ever, an unbe-
lievable lack of any concentration.
The dye was already cast; genie
out of the bottle. That smell was
fully in the open!
How West Indies Cricket Board
(WICB), West Indies Players Asso-
ciation (WIPA) and especially pres-
ent, touring WI players emerge from
this debacle could be distinctly
messy and far reaching.
Few sports team, however they
fool themselves, can divorce fiction
Publicly peeved at their repre-
sentatives, these WI players have
put their mouths, even careers,
where their money was, may even
still be, for their futures.
This one is far from finished.
Similar, not same, situations; re
payments to participating players;
have happened previously.
However, this is the very first
time, period, anywhere, that an
entire tour will have been cancelled
over; note; just internal squabbles,
on payments and finances for play-
ers of a presently touring team.
What a bad precedent to set at
this time. Ramifications would be
loud, clear and numerous!
In 1948/49, Sir Frank Worrell
refused to tour India, for he dis-
agreed with stipends players had
been allowed. That tour proceeded,
with WI scraping a 1-0 win.
Sir Frank returned spectacularly (Eng-
land 1950) as WI beat the hosts for the
first time ever, 3-1; then also playing well
against India and Australia, before leading
to Australia 1960/61 and England in
1963, to be eventually revered universally
as probably the best captain WI has ever
In 1978, WI, including yours truly,
decimated Australia in two Tests in T&T
Then, that smelly stuff permeated the
air in Guyana, when Desmond Haynes
and Richard Austin, two of three new
recruits to World Series Cricket (Kerry
Packer), were dropped for no apparent
The third; me; would have been dis-
posed of too, had Test No 3 not been
scheduled for Georgetown.
WI then captain Clive Lloyd would
have none of it, he and selected team
refusing to play, surmising that it was
just open victimisation that players were
dropped for trying to make better liveli-
Again, WI played on, a second team
hastily mustered, under Alvin Kallichar-
ran s captaincy. WI held their own even-
tually, winning that series after crescendos
of agro, 3-1.
In 1978/79 WI tour to India included
no "Packer" players; those already in
Australia for "unofficial" series while in
1998, WI undertook its first ever official
tour to South Africa. Senior players,
including Carl Hooper and captain Brian
Lara bluntly refused to tour unless certain
policies, finances and situations were
properly put into place, negotiations hap-
pening at London s Heathrow Airport
hotels on the way to SA.
Even guarantees from SA s then new
President, Nelson Mandela, were ignored.
Already in SA, one of contracted com-
mentators, I had direct communications
with Dr Ali Bacher, Cricket South Africa s
then president, as he feverishly bargained
for that tour to commence and continue,
so I knew all about that entire situation.
Continue that tour did, but WI were
so poor on the field, decimated by totally
abysmal psychological preparation, that
they lost all five Test matches badly, win-
ning only one of seven ODI s.
In 2009 versus touring Bangladesh,
WI endured similar fates when senior
players, including Shiv Chanderpaul,
refused to play for exact reasons as were
present in 1998, Bangladesh thus winning
its first series overseas.
But this new situation in India is quite
different, a cricketing brotherhood in-
fighting, openly eating itself alive but
surprise, surprise, not fighting against
So, only WIPA could bring conclusions
to, and emergence from, this morass;
repairing itself, if that is indeed possible.
This is not WICB s fault, even if this
scenario is being played out under its
purview, in full public view.
WICB, though, could pay directly and
dearly for this as India will not take this
lightly. International Cricket Council will
be keenly listening too, to developments.
If India confirms litigation against
WICB and ICC does sanction WI, where
does that leave WI for ICC s premier,
blue-ribbon competition; World Cup
Dogs and cats are never friends, as it
is impossible for mongooses and snakes,
especially cobras, to co-exist.
Could a "good" relationship between
WICB, WIPA and especially players be
of similar ilk?
Only time will tell in this present
atmosphere of confusions, innuendos
and refusals! Enjoy!
West Indies Marlon Samuels carves one over the infield against India during the
fourth ODI in Dharamsala, India on Friday. Samuels was the one bright spot for
the regional side, scoring a century (112) in his team's 59-run loss. The Windies
tour of India ended prematurely after the players had informed the board
through the team management that they would be returning to the Caribbean.
The bubble has burst for West Indies
COLIN EH CROFT
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